Do you think if you really tried hard enough, you could make it to the AFL?

freddy mercury

Premiership Player
Mar 20, 2009
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I played Northern Knights with Trent Cotchin. I was a slow forward flanker. He was just a cut above everyone else.

He is now Richmond captain, premiership player X2. I drive buses and 20kgs overweight. Apples and oranges, really.
 

rdhopkins2

Carpe Diem
Oct 1, 2002
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It is a mixture between natural ability, attitude and a body that doesn’t breakdown plus physical attributes (hard to get on a list if you are under 6’.
Yes, the harder you work, the better you will get but the best players just make it look easy.
 

Bunk Moreland

Hall of Famer
Sep 22, 2011
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The team I played junior footy in as a teenager, only one bloke made the AFL.

He was probably the fourth or fifth best player on the team... at the time.

He was always tall and grew to 199cm, and was a bloody good athlete at that size.

He got a chance and made a go of it for a reasonable career (incl a flag) thru being dedicated in the AFL environment.

He would’ve never got the chance if not for his size.
 

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catscollector

All Australian
Jun 30, 2018
839
886
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Bit like saying if you tried really hard you could of become a doctor.
Your either born with it or your not.

Most of us were good enough to become best players at our suburban clubs but actually becoming good enough to make Stingrays and then VFL teams, highly unlikely.
Those that do will often be in the right place at the right time or they are insanely good athletes who excel at most sports they dedicate themselves too.
 

The Passenger

Mr. Mojo Risin'
Mar 25, 2003
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The fringe AFL players we often write off as 'spuds' often go back to state level and wipe the floor with them. And of course to get to the top of the state level, you'd have to be pretty good in the first place and they are the best of the best of the amateur leagues.

We might make fun of Chris Masten's disposal but I guarantee even in retirement he'd still beat the crap out of all posters on this board.
I remember Kayne Pettifer being a lightning rod for criticism on BigFooty when I first started posting here. Since leaving the AFL world he has kicked mountain's of goals, including a 100 goal season at the age of 36 in the Goulburn Valley League, which is a very strong competition.
 

Scotland

TheBrownDog
May 5, 2006
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Someone like Stephen Armstrong was earmarked for a long AFL career from a young age. Third generation of a footballing family, junior star, won the Larke Medal in 2001 and was pick 25 in the Hodge-Ball-Judd superdraft. Ended up having a pretty unremarkable career with Melbourne and WC but was at least lucky to get a late season call up in 2006 and go on to play in a flag. Wasn't a complete bust but never looked like becoming a star at AFL level.
 

Bunk Moreland

Hall of Famer
Sep 22, 2011
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I remember Kayne Pettifer being a lightning rod for criticism on BigFooty when I first started posting here. Since leaving the AFL world he has kicked mountain's of goals, including a 100 goal season at the age of 36 in the Goulburn Valley League, which is a very strong competition.
Pettifer’s real level was probably somewhere in between.

GVFL is a long, long way from the AFL.
 

The King!

Chosen One
Aug 3, 2004
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I played Northern Knights with Trent Cotchin. I was a slow forward flanker. He was just a cut above everyone else.

He is now Richmond captain, premiership player X2. I drive buses and 20kgs overweight. Apples and oranges, really.

bet he would crash the bus though
 

Evolved1

Beancoin shill
Jun 14, 2013
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I played school football with a nobody who got cut after a couple games with an AFL club. He was taller, stronger, had a better footy brain, and far better skills than me...so that's a no for me.

My best chance would've been to reinvent myself as a dirtier version of Tony Liberatore, if that's possible.
 

The Passenger

Mr. Mojo Risin'
Mar 25, 2003
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Pettifer’s real level was probably somewhere in between.

GVFL is a long, long way from the AFL.
Absoutely a long way from AFL but it's still a strong league, and I reckon there's a lot of Friday night punters who watch footy from the pub and would genuinely believe they could rock up to a GVFL game and show them how it's done.
 

Rotayjay

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 28, 2014
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Not even close, hence why I never put in the hours to train football. I hate losing, so I've always given up a sport very quickly where I don't have a competitive advantage. I'm even more rubbish at tennis ...
 

lumpinee

the liars dont want yu to access any of your super
Jul 18, 2019
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there was no way in this world that i was giving up Friday nights $13 all u can drink n chasing pussie at the Cadillac Bar as a 16-17 yr old for a future
in AFL or cricket for that matter
 

Grrr

Premiership Player
Aug 16, 2009
4,638
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I was basketballer and didn't play my first game until I was 18 in the VFA. Won a pair of women's crutchless undies in my first game in the magoo's, after playing U19's the day before. You could get away with that back then.
 

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TheWoodenSlug

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 24, 2008
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Physically - maybe. 200cm, solid frame (i.e. dad bod now), good skills.

Mentally - no way. Far too fragile.

Overall I maybe could have drifted in and out of a few lists like a Zac Smith or Dan Currie.
 

Scotland

TheBrownDog
May 5, 2006
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Physically - maybe. 200cm, solid frame (i.e. dad bod now), good skills.

Mentally - no way. Far too fragile.

Overall I maybe could have drifted in and out of a few lists like a Zac Smith or Dan Currie.
The dream of the unco giant. How many years can you survive in the system on being tall and able to run a bit...
 

Jack Cahill

Draftee
Nov 27, 2019
2
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If I'd really knuckled down? Like, ate properly, went to the gym every day, trained hard, gave up darts, drugs and alcohol?

Hell no. I wouldn't have even made country reserves.

It's hilarious to me that people can spend so much time watching AFL, they can see what athletic freaks these guys are, and they can still think "yeah, I could've done that if I'd just laid off the Maccas."

People want to shit on AFLW as being substandard. But when they do that they're comparing it to AFL(M), and they're completely underestimating the extent to which AFL players are trained to be athletic mutants from 14 years old (if not earlier).

Making the AFL isn't about working hard at 16 or 17 years old. It's about being a freak at 13-15 years old, being in the right place at the right time to be identified, and having a pathway to the top level. Any of us who played with guys who went onto the AFL know just how ******* good they were at a young age.

As an aside, the last 2 points there is why draftees from Tassie have dried up - it's not that there aren't freaks, and good players, it's that they aren't being identified and aren't being given a pathway. And it's why AFLW will take a while for the standard to build - because there hasn't been a reason to identify those players young enough, to give them a pathway, and to turn into the freaks that play AFL(M).
I have to agree, I played junior footy and one guy was drafted to North Melbourne, but didn't go, the other ended up playing 5 games for Central's in the SANFL, whilst another could run like the wind, ran for Australia in juniors, and ended up playing 20 odd games for Port in the AFL & captained a few Centrals premierships - but these guys were FREAKS and at a young age able to do things us other's simply weren't able too. People capable of playing AFL are few and far between
 

master bate

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 13, 2006
13,407
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If you have special athleticism, toughness and a commitment to work hard I think the skill level required is actually quite low to get a chance at the AFL.

But that means either being 200cm+, mobile and fit or having good or great pace and running a sub 9;30 3km.

The big ruckman is probably the easiest path. Often times there's athletic really tough defenders with unfashionable skills who come from a long way back at the junior age to make very good AFL footballers without a lot of ball skills but they are usually excellent footballers in terms of ball winning, toughness and underrated athleticism at a lower level. I'm thinking of guys like Nick Maxwell and Dale Morris who were unfashionable with skills and didn't get drafted the first time around due to lack of skills but were far more than scrubbers who worked hard.
 

Scotland

TheBrownDog
May 5, 2006
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Maxwell was 193cm and 93kg, Morris 190 and 93. Both AFL key position size or just under. Average height is about 176 so these guys are still outliers in most social circles.

Very rare to get drafted under 180cm now and most that do have to have 'little guy' traits like electric pace or smarts around goal.

The AFL is a funny system because players are typically drafted at 18 when they aren't the finished product. Clubs are trying to project how a player's skills and abilities will translate and what their bodies will do rather than just picking the best performed.
 

WillHayward

Club Legend
Aug 13, 2018
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I played school football with a nobody who got cut after a couple games with an AFL club. He was taller, stronger, had a better footy brain, and far better skills than me...so that's a no for me.

My best chance would've been to reinvent myself as a dirtier version of Tony Liberatore, if that's possible.
:smile: :smile:

Trouble is Libba was actually good before he got dirty.

He only got dirty later when Terry Wallace kept wanting to de-list him.
 

Bunk Moreland

Hall of Famer
Sep 22, 2011
32,074
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Maxwell was 193cm and 93kg, Morris 190 and 93. Both AFL key position size or just under. Average height is about 176 so these guys are still outliers in most social circles.

Very rare to get drafted under 180cm now and most that do have to have 'little guy' traits like electric pace or smarts around goal.

The AFL is a funny system because players are typically drafted at 18 when they aren't the finished product. Clubs are trying to project how a player's skills and abilities will translate and what their bodies will do rather than just picking the best performed.
If the AFL had half a brain they’d make the draft age 20.

Better players, more easily rated, more mature, happier, more well-rounded after perhaps some work or study.
 

Scotland

TheBrownDog
May 5, 2006
54,248
57,624
AFL Club
West Coast
If the AFL had half a brain they’d make the draft age 20.

Better players, more easily rated, more mature, happier, more well-rounded after perhaps some work or study.
No one seems to want that. Clubs would rather draft project players and prove they are more cleverer than have Zion Williamsons ready to go from day 1.
 

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